Brain Implant And AI Enable Woman To Speak 18 Years After Stroke


 Brain implant technology received a lot of attention after Elon Musk launched the Neuralink company in 2017. According to Musk, the process of installing the implant directly on the brain will be done in less than an hour with the hope that it will restore the ability to walk in paralyzed people for example.

But many may not realize this technology was developed much earlier before Musk's involvement. Recently, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of California, Berkeley succeeded in making a stroke victim speak again 18 years after having a stroke using a brain implant.

Ann Johnson suffered a stroke 18 years ago that left her paralyzed and unable to speak. All this time he used his head to type on the computer which then spoke for him. Through a newly installed brain implant, Johnson's brainwaves are read before they are spoken by a 3D avatar. Because he no longer has to type, the process of talking to people around him is now faster.

Researchers also used artificial intelligence (AI) to make Johnson's 3D avatar speak using his real voice. The video of his wedding speech was used to train this AI. Even so, the system of reading brain waves using this implant is still not perfect because it makes mistakes when trying to say names. It is also slow with a speed of 78 words per minute compared to 160 words per minute for normal human speech speed.